Ryder Architecture links with theatre firm to create community theatre in the Eastern Cape

A British architectural practice has joined forces with a theatre company to launch a cultural regeneration project in South Africa.

Ryder Architecture has linked up with theatre firm Dodgy Clutch to construct a new community theatre in the Eastern Cape.

Dodgy Clutch has a long running association with the local community in the Tyhume Valley, and has organised the project with the support of the region's political leaders.

It is hoped the scheme will provide a catalyst for regeneration and encourage a cultural renaissance in the area, which has suffered from urban migration in recent years, as young people move from the countryside to the cities in search of employment.

Chief executive of Ryder, Peter Buchan, said the development would be a “real two-way exchange of knowledge”.

He added: “The team will be learning about local construction techniques and materials and working with the community to deliver a sustainable facility that will benefit the area for years to come.

"As we have seen in the UK, cultural-led regeneration projects like this can kick-start and inspire dramatic growth, and this project has the potential to demonstrate what is possible for similar communities across South Africa.”

Buchan and two other architects will leave for Tyhume on 16 January.